Find Out Who Won: Lake Minnetonka Voters Decide Local Races

A Wayzata City Council race may be decided by less than five votes; GOP candidates win or lead big in legislative races.

There was little need to burn the midnight oil during Election Day 2012. From President of the United States to the dozens of candidates seeking local and legislative offices, results came in early for many races involving Lake Minnetonka communities.

By 10 p.m. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar had already made her acceptance speech and was making the rounds on television and radio.

Mark Gaylord knew he would be the next Mayor of Excelsior by 9:15 p.m. Gaylord defeated challenger Steve Finch by about 250 votes, 667-411. Nick Ruehl announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.

Mary Jo Fulkerson and Greg Miller won four-year seats on the Excelsior City Council, and John Beattie won the special election for a two-year term.

Results arrived early in the evening from Minnetrista as well, where Bob Christians and Mark Vanderlinde won city council seats.

With all four of Orono's precincts reporting, Kristi Anderson (with 31.84 percent of the vote) and Lizz Levang (27.53 percent) won city council seats. Full results below.

Lili McMillan, who was running unopposed for re-election as Mayor of Orono, tweeted her congratulations to Anderson and Levang Tuesday night.

In Wayzata, the three-way race for two city council seats appears to have come down to less than five votes. Andrew Mullin received 1,261 (36.68 percent) votes to win one of the seats, and Bridget Anderson's 1,079 votes edged Alex Plechash's 1,076 votes. Write-in candidates received 22 total votes. Mullin cautioned Tuesday night on Twitter that results would not be official until Wednesday morning.

Ken Willcox was running unopposed for another term as Mayor of Wayzata.

Results for the City of Shorewood were among the last to be posted, but even final numbers from there arrived before midnight. Kristine Sundberg (with 40.21 percent of the vote) and Dick Woodruff (35.20 percent) won city council seats, while Scott Zerby (running unopposed) was elected to his first term as mayor.

While Democrats appear to have retained the White House and taken control of the Minnesota State Legislature, Republicans maintained their traditional strength in the Lake Minnetonka area. 

With 77 percent of precincts reporting as of 11:15 p.m., Erik Paulsen appeared headed for re-election with a 17 point lead over DFL challenger Brian Barnes. Full results below.

Tea Party Republican Cindy Pugh, seeking elected office for the first time, led the DFL's Denise Bader by about 300 votes after the first wave of results. Pugh stretched that lead to nearly 2,000 votes with 20 percent of precincts to report and eventually won with nearly 55 percent of the vote.

Voters in Minnesota State House District 33B also showed early support for the GOP, with Jerry Hertaus leading by 3,000 votes with just four precincts still out. Hertaus eventually won more than 60 percent of the nearly 25,000 ballots cast. The 33B seat had been previously held by Republican Connie Doepke.

Republican David Osmek won the Minnesota State Senate District 33 seat.


United States Congress, Minnesota District 3

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *all precincts reporting Erik Paulsen  222,341    58.10 Brian Barnes  159,941  41.79 Other  433  .11

Minnesota State Senate District 33

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *100 percent of precincts reporting  David Osmek  28,195   58.92 Judy Rogosheske  19,547   40.85

State House of Representatives, District 33A

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *all precincts reporting Todd Mikkelson (DFL)
 8,963  37.81 Jerry Hertaus (R)  14,717   62.09

State House of Representatives, District 33B

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *100 percent reporting Cindy Pugh (R)   13,211     54.36  Denise Bader (DFL)   11053  45.48

Wayzata City Council (vote for two)

Candidate Name  Votes    Percentage *All precincts reporting  Andrew Mullin  1,261  36.68 Alex Plechash  1,076  31.30 Bridget Anderson  1,079  31.38

Orono City Council (vote for two)

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *4-of-4 precincts reporting   Dennis Walsh  1,707    25.67 Kristi Anderson  2,118  31.84 Doug Franchot  963  14.48 Lizz Levang  1,831  27.53

Hennepin County Commissioner

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *36-of-76 precincts reporting  Jan Callison  16,823   55.29 Dave Wahlstedt  13,456   44.23

Excelsior City Council (four-year seat; vote for two)

Candidate Name Votes  Percentage *All precincts reporting Greg Miller  666  39.62 Marianne Stebbins    375  22.31 Mary Jo Fulkerson  626  37.24

Excelsior City Council (two-year seat)

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *All precincts reporting John Beattie  565  55.56 Gretchen Wahlstedt    442  43.46

Mayor of Excelsior

Candidate Name Votes Percentage *All precincts reporting Mark Gaylord  667  61.25 Steve Finch  411  37.74

Shorewood City Council (Vote for two)

Candidate Name  Votes  Percentage *4-of-4 precincts reporting  Kristine Sundberg  2,361  40.21 Dick Woodruff  2,067  35.20 Mark Sylvester  1,410  24.01

Minnetrista City Council

 Candidate Name  Votes  Percentage *All precincts reporting Bob Christians  1743  34.02 Justin Zenanko  1373  26.80 Mark Vanderlinde  1964  38.34

Mound City Council (vote for two)

 Candidate Name  Vote  Percentage *4-of-4 precincts reporting    Danene Provencher  1,781   25.57   Ray Salazar  2,371  34.04  Heidi Gesh  2,721  39.07

Mayor of Mound

 Candidate Name  Vote  Percentage *4-of-4 precincts reporting   Mark Hanus
 2,558   52.83  Mark Regan  2,226  45.97

Editor's note: Ken Willcox (Wayzata) and Scott Zerby (Shorewood) are running unopposed for mayor.

Historical Data

Redistricting slightly modified Lake Minnetonka's legislative districts in 2012, but the area is traditionally a Republican stronghold. Northern Lake Minnetonka municipalities, from Wayzata west to the northern half of Jennings Bay, are now part of State House District 33A, while southern Lake Minnetonka communities, from Deephaven west to Tonka Bay, remain in District 33B.

Cummulatively, Lake Minnetonka communities overwhelmingly supported John McCain in 2008 and George Bush in both 2004 and 2000, and Republican U.S. congressmen have represented District 3 since 1961.

Republican Gen Olson represented the Lake Minnetonka area, District 33, in the Minnesota State Senate for more than 20 before announcing her retirement in 2012. 

One Lake, two districts, three races

Both State House districts, as well as State Senate District 33, will have new representatives beginning next session.

Steve Smith, who previously represented District 33A but sought the District 33B seat following redistricting, was defeated during the primary season by first-time candidate Cindy Pugh. Smith had been the longest-tenured House Republican. District 33B was previously represented by Connie Doepke, who vacated the seat to run for State State. Pugh is running against the DFL's Denise Bader in the general election. 

Doepke was defeated by Dave Osmek in the State Senate District 33 primary back in August. Osmek is running against the DFL's Judy Rogosheske in the general eleciton.

Republican Jerry Hertaus and the DFL's Todd Mikkelson are running for the open District 33A seat.

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